Thursday, December 05, 2013

Cruising the Web

Allahpundit notes the irony of President Obama criticizing Republicans for supposedly causing people to lose insurance right before Christmas.

Timothy Carney writes on how Obamacare is based on "regulations, subsidies, taxes, and then more subsidies." Rinse and repeat.

Detroit's fate should be a salutary lesson to states and cities that they can't afford defined-benefit pension plans.

Hmmm. Is Politico involved in a "pay-for-play" scandal?

Walmart is finally opening in Washington, D.C. Apparently, real people don't have the antipathy to working for Walmart that union officials think they should.
According to Walmart, 23,000 people applied for the 600 positions at the two recently opened stores. The Daily Beast posited that getting a job at one of these two stores was “harder than getting into Harvard.” Of the 23,000 applications, only 65 percent of applications came from D.C. residents and among those hired, 68 percent are District residents.
And now that D.C. is moving towards raising their minimum wage, the irony is that such a move will actually help Walmart. They can absorb the increase. Small businesses won't have as easy a job doing so.

Peggy Noonan ponders how President Obama couldn't have been all over the implementation of the policy before it began on October 1. She wonders why he wasn't more wary of the likelihood that things would go wrong. The fact that there has been only one private meeting between Obama and Kathleen Sebelius in the three and a half years before the launch of Obamacare says a lot about the inability of President Obama to lead his own administration. Noonan thinks that Obama's problem is that he is so used to living by words, rather than deeds.
I think part of the reason he wasn’t careful is because he sort of lives in words. That’s been his whole professional life—books, speeches. Say something and it magically exists as something said, and if it’s been said and publicized it must be real. He never had to push a lever, see the machine not respond, puzzle it out and fix it. It’s all been pretty abstract for him, not concrete. He never had to stock a store, run a sale and see lots of people come but the expenses turn out to be larger than you’d expected and the profits smaller, and you have to figure out what went wrong and do better next time.

People say Mr. Obama never had to run anything, but it may be more important that he never worked for the guy who had to run something, and things got fouled up along the way and he had to turn it around. He never had to meet a payroll, never knew that stress....

From what I have seen the administration is full of young people who’ve seen the movie but not read the book. They act bright, they know the reference, they’re credentialed. But they’ve only seen the movie about, say, the Cuban missile crisis, and then they get into a foreign-policy question and they’re seeing movies in their heads. They haven’t read the histories, the texts, which carry more information, more texture, data and subtlety, and different points of view. They’ve only seen the movie—the Cubans had the missiles and Jack said “Not another war” and Bobby said “Pearl Harbor in reverse” and dreadful old Curtis LeMay chomped his cigar and said “We can fry a million of ‘em by this afternoon, Mr. President.” Grrr, grrr, good guys beat bad guys.

It’s as if history isn’t real to them. They run around tweeting, all of them, even those in substantial positions. “Darfur government inadequate. Genocide unacceptable.” They share their feelings – that happens to be one of the things they seem to think is real, what they feel. “Unjust treatment of women—scourge that hurts my heart.” This is the dialogue to the movies in their heads.

There’s a sense that they’re all freelancing, not really part of anything coherent.
And now that Obamacare has flopped on its debut, the President seems to think that solution is...more words. But words aren't going to change perceptions when people are opening actual letters from their insurance companies and reading about how their insurance rates are going up. Words won't help when people find out that they can't go to the same doctor or hospital that they are used to. Words won't help if they're still getting error messages from the website or have to worry about security flaws protecting their private information. All Obama has ever had to sell the American people were words. Now words just aren't enough.

John Tanny explains why he thinks Republicans should be grateful to President Obama.

Guess what the most commonly issued grade is at Harvard.